The Haitian National Palace in Port-au-Prince lies in ruins after the Jan. 12 earthquake.
The United Nations has offered a sobering estimate of how long it will take to rebuild Haiti: With the country starting “below zero” and relief and redevelopment logistics still a “nightmare,” efforts to bring Haiti to its pre-earthquake days will take generations. —JCL
Rebuilding Haiti will take generations because the earthquake-shattered country was starting from “below zero” and logistics remained a “nightmare”, the United Nations warned today.
The bleak long-term assessment came as basic medical supplies in Port-au-Prince ran dangerously low and concerns grew of a public health calamity with the onset of the rainy season.
Several hospitals and clinics reported shortages of painkillers and antibiotics for patients with fractures, amputated limbs and infections. Relief agencies said there was also an urgent need for tents.
Edmond Mulet, acting head of the UN mission in Haiti, warned that emergency relief efforts were the start of a commitment that would be much longer than the international community might realise. “I think this is going to take many more decades … this is an enormous backwards step in Haiti’s development,” he told the BBC. “We will not have to start from zero but from below zero.”